Arsenal warned over being ‘held to ransom’ by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Arsenal have been warned not to be held to ransom by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in his ongoing contract negotiations.

The Gunners' captain is reportedly on the verge of signing a big-money deal to keep him at the club beyond next summer.

Aubameyang has been stalling over penning an extension for months, but Arsenal's recent FA Cup success and qualification for Europe has seemingly convinced the striker to commit to the club.

However former Arsenal defender Martin Keown feels his old side should be wary about playing into Aubameyang's hands in the same way they did with Mesut Ozil.

Keown told  PA Sport : "[Mikel] Arteta has been there less than eight months and walked away with an FA Cup he is someone who can make a difference (to Aubameyang’s decision) and if he wants the striker at the football club he will be influential.

“The previous manager, Unai Emery, was saying he wasn’t part of the negotiations for Aaron Ramsey.

“Well this time round Arteta made it his place to be involved in the negotiations and that is only right and proper.

“I don’t think they should be held to ransom as they appeared to be over the Mesut Ozil contract but on the pitch Aubameyang seems like a different person.

“Just getting him to sign keeps a huge amount of belief and hope for the future – but not one individual is bigger than the football club as the Ozil saga has shown.”

Aubameyang is already into the final 12 months of his contract which has put pressure on Arsenal to either tie him down or sell him on.

The 31-year-old had been attracting interest from Barcelona but Arteta remains confident his talisman will pen fresh terms.

Speaking after the FA Cup final win, Arteta said: "He knows what I think about him.

"I want to build the squad around him. I think he wants to stay and it is just about getting the deal done.

"But I think these moments will help him to realise and believe that we are in the right path and he is a big part of that.

"He is loved by everybody at the club. Hopefully he can continue with us."

Asked if he will extend his contract, Arteta added: "I think he will, yes."

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